Gary Lineker: "Sturridge has to play in the middle"

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

The England legend believes Roy Hodgson has to play Daniel Sturridge in the centre of attack if the Three Lions are to be a real attacking threat in Brazil.

Gary Lineker knew how to score goals, as he bagged 48 in 80 appearances for England, and he believes that Hodgson has to deploy Sturridge in the middle of attack, rather than out wide.

Speaking in a video for Blahzil, Lineker revealed how England's best option up front is to use the Liverpool forward in his preferred position as a central striker.

"For me there's one thing that should be pretty permanent, given fitness and form, and that's that Daniel Sturridge plays up front in the middle.

"I think from time to time in different systems, Roy's used him on one side or the other and had Wayne Rooney in the middle but I think Sturridge gives us different options.

"He gives us a threat in behind the opposition's defence, which I think is really important, and something that Wayne Rooney doesn't do so frequently."

Wayne Rooney plays in the centre of attack for England, but has not scored at a World Cup in two attempts so far, and using Sturridge there after such a good season with Liverpool is vital.

Rooney offers the team something different and is brilliant at dropping a bit deeper to find space before bringing other players into the game, and he struggles to do this effectively if he has to lead the attack as the out-and-out striker.

The Manchester United forward needs to be played behind the striker to fully maximise his threat to opposing teams.

"He's [Rooney] very good at coming off,creating space, turning, hitting shots, bringing other people into the game and working hard.

"But in terms of a threat behind the opposition's defence, that's Sturridge's territory, he's very good at that and what that does of course is make the opposition slightly nervous," Lineker added.

Sturridge performed excellently alongside Luis Suarez all season for Liverpool, and Rooney could play a similar role to that of Suarez for England, supplying the 24-year-old in and around the box.

The former-Chelsea man started on the right wing for England against Peru on Friday, but his goal came from a central position as he found a bit of space on the edge of the box before unleashing a terrific shot into the top corner.

It will be interesting to see where Hodgson plays Sturridge in Wednesday night's friendly against Ecuador, and it's important that he and Rooney build up a strong partnership before the World Cup get's underway in 10 days.


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